Covid19 racial disparities: During the last few weeks of this course we will read Nobody by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Dr. Hill will also join us for a guest Zoom/WebEx lecture on the final day of class for the semester, April 28, 2020. In Nobody, Dr. Hill uses “high-profile and controversial cases of State violence” to demonstrate that such cases are “a symptom of a deeper American problem,” and that at the root of each case “is a more fundamental set of economic conditions, political arrangements, and power relations that transform everyday citizens into casualties of an increasingly intense war on the vulnerable” (p.xxii).
Here we are in the middle of a global pandemic. COVID-19 is exacerbating the systemic health inequities we have been discussing throughout the semester, as poor Black, brown, and Indigenous communities are hit hardest by the virus (See links below). After reading Fatal Invention and Race and Racisms these disheartening numbers should not come as a huge shock to you. As you read Nobody the systemic factors leading to these inequities will be even clearer.
Like Dr. Hill, you are going to perform a structural analysis of these COVID-19 racial disparities. What does a “structural analysis” mean? It means you will be investigating the “public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms [which] work in various, often reinforcing, ways to perpetuate racial group inequity” (Aspen Institute).
You will use recent comments made by the surgeon general as the jumping off point for your structural analysis that weaves together the relevant factors that actually led to the racial disparities. You are using the Nobody book to support your outside research and data. Chapter of this book provide you with a different angle to understand why these disparities exist.
You will write a 2-3 page final paper. You must include a annotated bibliography. Your paper must be in paragraph form and provide the following information (in this order!):
a) Overview of the racial disparities in COVID-19 contraction in the United States. You don’t have to pick every city or state that has data available. But provide a general sense of what the data is saying about who is more likely to contract and die from the virus. But provide at least 3 examples.
b) On April 10, 2020, during a White House coronavirus press conference, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams discussed how communities of color can fight the spread of coronavirus:
NOBODY-COVID-19 Final Paper
“Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. And call your friends and family. Check in on your mother; she wants to hear from you right now. And speaking of mothers, we need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop-Pop. We need you to understand — especially in communities of color, we need you to step up and help stop the spread so that we can protect those who are most vulnerable.”
According to the statement by the US Surgeon General, who is responsible for the racial disparities in COVID-19 contraction? Here you should describe how he frames those responsible for the disparities. Does he describe it as a case of injustice?
c) What does the scientific data reveal about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs among people of color in the United States?
d) Based upon the argument the US Surgeon General is making about who is responsible for the racial disparities, what would the solution be?
e) Explain how each of the following is impacting the rates of COVID-19 contraction for marginalized Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities (You must include support from Nobody):
• Housing segregation and racial homeownership disparities (How does where and how people live affect contraction rates?)
• Employment (Consider the racial disparities in who can afford to social distance? Who are considered essential workers? Etc.)
• Travel (Who has a car? Who has to take public transportation?)
• Health disparities with regard to underlying disease, stress and overall health (hypertension, asthma, heart disease, etc.)
• Health care disparities with regard to access to health care (hospitals, doctors, insurance, etc.)
f) Based upon the information above, what must happen in order to prevent such inequities during potential health crises in the future?
Please use the following format:
1. A title page with your name, the name of the course, the date, the semester, and a paper title
2. Please remember that papers should be 2-3 pages (double-spaced).
3. You will be graded on formatting because this is important to the overall presentation of your work as students.
a) 12 pt. standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial)
NOBODY-COVID-19 Final Paper
c) Add page numbers somewhere
d) Indent paragraphs (one tab)
e) Justify paragraph margins
f) Document margins should be 1” all around.
You must cite every one of your statistics and include a bibliography of all of your sources.
The paper should follow established practice with regard to citations and references. For citation and bibliography format see: “A Quick Style Guide for Students Writing Sociology Papers” by the American Sociological Association (follows APA format)
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